There is a seemingly endless supply of gorgeous photos all over Tumbler, wedding blogs, blogs in general, and of course, Pinterest – stunning, loving, and perfectly styled engagement photos. To some, it may seem excessive to have engagement photos taken – your wedding photos will be enough; you are spending a ton of money on the wedding already; there are lots of other things to do; you hate having your photo taken. For me, I love photography, yet I find that I can be extremely awkward in photos – never fully relaxed, not standing quite right, looking the wrong way, eyes closed (yep I’m that person) and I know I’m not alone! Surprisingly, this was the very reason I decided it was necessary.
When I decided to write this post, I knew it wouldn’t be complete without the perspective of our wedding photographer, Elena Graham – see what she has to say below!
So, if you are awkward or not, here is why you should take engagement photos.
Get to Know Your Photographer
Knowing how your photographer works and the types of photos he/she takes is really important and this goes beyond looking at their portfolio. Having a deeper knowledge of this prior to your big day will only make those wedding photos better. What do you love about their work? Let your photographer know your feelings and why you choose them.
Your Comfort Zone
A girlfriend of mine had her engagement photos taken on the sofa in her living room and they turned out perfectly – perfectly them. Your shoot doesn’t have to be some rainforest or mountain top – some of the best photos will happen where you are most comfortable – find that space: somewhere you love, that brings you joy, and somewhere that means something to you. For Brad and I, we had purchased our Vespa not long before the shoot and were having a blast scooting all over San Francisco on it; it was fun to include it in the shoot as well as document this time in our lives together.
Ask For Feedback
Don’t be afraid to ask your photographer if he/she isn’t giving enough direction – help them, help you.
“Different poses and direction work best for different couples. During an engagement shoot, your photographer gets to know which poses look and feel natural for you as a couple (and what direction will lead you there) so that on your wedding day when less time is available, he/she can guide you more quickly into the best poses for you.” – Elena Graham
You may have mastered your pose with that side angle, hand on your hip, your front leg positioned at the best angle when posing with your friends. Yet, engagement photos are not quite the same. Remember, you may not be the only awkward one in front of the camera – it’s a great time to figure it out together.
“During your engagement session, focus on your partner, not on your photographer. Take a deep breath, enjoy kissing or joking with your fiance, and you’ll probably realize you don’t have to do much to pose well.” – Elena Graham
How Do You Plan to Use Your Photos?
Maybe it’s the designer in me, but it was helpful to think of how I wanted to use the photos, such as: framed around your home, gifts for your in-laws, save the dates, or in a guest book and then use that as a guide when picking location and clothing.
“Once you’ve narrowed down possible locations, then get feedback from your photographer. He or she will likely have helpful tips about lighting or weather.” – Elena Graham
Relax and Have Fun
You are in good hands! Most likely you have done your research and found the photographer you want to work with – now is the time to treat them as a friend and relax. Stiffness will show, have fun – you are marrying your best friend after all.
“When your friends and family see your engagement photos, they will also have more trust in your photographer. This fosters an environment of teamwork on your wedding day, which will make everyone happier and more comfortable.” – Elena Graham
We take so many photos nowadays with smartphones and secondary cameras – most likely you have about 6k-11k of photos not printed, just sitting on your phone. The big events for most of us that have well-lit and beautifully taken photographs are far and few between, embrace this time. Your family and loved ones are sure to love the photos as much as you do!
What’s the Worst That Can Happen?
Honestly, if you get your photos back and you don’t love them, dig into why and see if there are changes that can be made for your big day. Tell your photographer why you feel the way you do to better help them shoot your wedding. Is it an angle of yourself you don’t like? Are they overly staged? Too stiff? Ultimately, remember that your wedding photographer wants you to LOVE your photos.
You Won’t Regret It No Matter What
I can’t recommend it enough (obviously) but truly, from a girl who is as awkward as one can imagine in front of the camera – I’m so pleased I did it and will love these photos forever. Knowing that we are in great hands with our photographer for our wedding day is a huge relief – I know, that no matter what our day will be captured perfectly to our liking. Even if you think you won’t today, trust me a year or two or even five and onwards, you will love to look back on your photos and that day.
A Day To Remember
Whatever you do with your photos – shove them in a drawer, photo album, turn them into save the date and thank you cards. The day itself will be surprisingly fun and one you won’t forget.
Our wedding photographer works all over the United States! Find her work and contact information here.
I hope you enjoyed this manicured post!